Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The Nuns Quilt...finishing touches
I'm happy to report that the final quilting stitches were put in place while on my teaching engagement in Tucson. This is the only linen quilt I've worked on all year and it has taken me that long to get to this point. I can hardly believe it's nearly done! And just in time too...I just received notification a few minutes ago that this was accepted for the Road to California Show in Ontario, CA. So for those of you who are attending you'll be able to see it in person. :)
I found the perfect piece of lace for my rod pocket and since it was so loose I had to attach it to fabric...I had just enough underlayment fabric left from the front to create the rod pocket for the back. Of course I had to bead the lace to the fabric and it gave it just that special little touch.
I am going to start the quilting on the label this afternoon...we have a decent storm blowing in so it makes the perfect time to snug up to a special project in my machine. I have added a picture which shows the original label...I photocopied the label and printed it on Printed Treasures fabric. The linen originally came with 6 napkins...I have sacrificed one of them for the label. I reverse appliqued an oval hole in the top, placed the copied label underneath and stitched it down.
I plan on overall quilting a delicate feather background with Superior Threads' #100 Kimono Silk in a matching thread (class sample shown). Rather than hand write the history of this piece, I am going to select a beautiful font on Microsoft Word, type my message, tint the writing an antique brown, and then print on Printed Treasures fabric. I will then cut to size and place this on top of the quilted linen napkin. I will cover the raw edges with lace and beads...much like the technique I used on my "Take the Time" quotation quilt that is pictured.
While I was on my 2-week engagement in Arizona and Texas I spent significant time in my hotel room not only sewing but also trying to research which French convent this linen came from. The only history I had is that it was hand-made by French Nuns in a convent in the early 1940's. I always thought that was such an amazing history and was very excited about it. Silly me didn't realize until I started doing the research is that this was during the war...very bad things were happening in France during this time and awful things were happening to the nuns. It made me sick. I wanted to stop searching as it was upsetting but somebody told me I had to find out...it was important. She said that it proves that even during the darkest and most difficult of times women were able to create something beautiful...this was their therapy. Now I really understand the presence I have felt all along while working on this quilt.
It was suggested last Saturday that I try and contact the monks at our local Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California. All of my other letters and inquiries to other establishments have gone unanswered. I am happy to report that Father Paul Mark is intrigued with the story and will be meeting with me on Saturday. I am hopeful he will be able to send me in the right direction for my research.
In closing I would like to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving. Be thankful for your family...your friends...and your life. Don't forget to tell those that are close to you how much you appreciate and love them.
Hugs, Cindy :)